Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Vol 15, No 1 (2010)

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'A Hand Prepared to be Red': Manliness and Violence on Britain's Colonial Frontiers

Robert Paul Hogg

Abstract


On the frontiers of Queensland and British Columbia in the mid-nineteenth century, a culture of violence prevailed. Frontier men accommodated violence in their lives as a routine and normal part of frontier living. The Victorian ethos of 'manliness' - the possession of essential virtues such as self-restraint, courage and strenuous effort - had within it the potential for violence. On the frontier the practice of manliness often entailed violence and the manly ethos could be distorted to justify and legitimise violent acts.

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